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Cisco's top 10 rivals

Jim Duffy | Oct. 13, 2010
Cisco battling Juniper, IBM, HP and more across the enterprise network market

Cisco vs. Brocade

Brocade and Cisco are 1 and 2, respectively, in Fibre Channel storage-area networks. Brocade has the lion's share of the Fibre Channel SAN market at 64% and Cisco's attempting to take the industry to Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet, a converged SAN/LAN switching fabric dependent on Ethernet switches – an area where Cisco is dominant.

Brocade's not totally resisting the move to Ethernet: the company acquired Cisco competitor Foundry Networks for Ethernet switching in an effort to integrate its own FCoE development and converged data center fabric. Brocade also recently proposed a unified data center fabric architecture, called Brocade One, as an alternative to those from Cisco and IBM/Juniper.
Even so, Brocade continues to invest in, develop and aggressively market its native Fibre Channel technology to its deep installed base and cash cow. Cisco entered the Fibre Channel SAN business in 2002 and, after initially taking half of the modular SAN switch market in 2007, has fallen to 36% share of the $843 million market in 2009, according to Dell'Oro. In that time, Brocade's share rose from 50% in 2007 to its current 64%, according to Dell'Oro.


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